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Thread: 6 year relationship (3 years engaged) over

  1. #21
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I understand the age difference wasn't a big deal at the start. Oh, do I.

    But she was a literal teenager a few minutes before you met her, while you'd been a teenager a million years ago. That's the mental gap between 20 and 34, and love doesn't shrink it; in ways it kind of freezes it in place. So, yeah, it can all be super fun and feel like equals—you like the same stuff, have a blast talking, and probably both have fun with the gap in different ways—but as years pass the difference very likely becomes more pronounced. It's not even about obvious stuff like one person wanting to be "settled" and another longing to be "free," but about how we grow into ourselves as adults.

    When she met you, "adulthood" was basically an abstraction—a distant thing on the horizon that she was walking toward. Now she's taken some steps, and being with you is all she knows. That can feel constrictive, especially when it's felt alongside someone you know had loads of experience in the world before you. Went through something with my ex—with, ugh, two exes, actually. I remember her saying, "You just got to do so much before me and I can't help but be jealous." Made me sad. Also made sense. I remember what cool 37-year-olds looked like when I was 24. I wanted to be them, not with them, and as a dude that's generally our only option, as super cool 37-year-old women don't tend to show us much interest in us during the tadpole stage.

    It's hard, I know. These moments, whatever the dynamic, just suck. But like abitbroken said, take time to heal and, once healed, set your sights a little more narrowly. You don't want someone who hears "40" and hears "serious adult" but simply "fellow human." It really makes a world of difference.

  2. #22
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I understand the age difference wasn't a big deal at the start. Oh, do I.

    But she was a literal teenager a few minutes before you met her, while you'd been a teenager a million years ago. That's the mental gap between 20 and 34, and love doesn't shrink it; in ways it kind of freezes it in place. .
    I speak from experience being in my early 20s dating a man in his 30s -- you don't take the opportunities the growth opportunities you need to in your early 20s while in the relationship. Being with a man your own age is different because you are in the same spot. If you met her when she was already 25, she would be a different woman than she is today at 25.

    Also, i get that she owned most of the furniture, but when she met you 5 years ago, why weren't you "launched", with your own place and furniture? I can see if you were engaged you started to buy things that were yours jointly perhaps, but it should not have been the case where she brought all the furniture with her and you didn't have any. I get if her couch was better, you got rid of yours or whatever, but still....

    I also think that unless there is a good reason for a long engagement (18 year olds are told by parents they are too young and won't support a wedding before 22, military service or finishing college), if someone is engaged to you for multiple years with no date, they aren't ready to marry anyone - or just not you.

    Also, did you get engaged to sort of to "take her off the market" vs to get married?

    Just some things to reflect on.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You've had a very long time together. Unfortunately when push comes to shove all the inevitable incompatibilities start to seep through. You can have all these problems at any age. However in this situation it's not about age as much as life-stage and priorities.

    The fact that she sat down not once, but twice to write you these dissertations about her unhappiness/feeling etc. should make you aware that this has been going on for some time until it simply hit critical mass.

    Perhaps you were too obsessed with peripheral things like pets and furniture to even listen to her. When that becomes more important than the person you're with you have some thinking to do. In the end it worked out. She's back at her parents and you both have time to reflect on what you want and what's important.
    Originally Posted by musicguy
    Communication was a big problem for us. She wanted marriage and kids, just not right now.
    She thought I was pushing the kid deal because I'm in my 40's.

  4. #24
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Perhaps you were too obsessed with peripheral things like pets and furniture to even listen to her. When that becomes more important than the person you're with you have some thinking to do. In the end it worked out. She's back at her parents and you both have time to reflect on what you want and what's important.
    When i was very young, it was easy to speak on intellectual manners, but it was hard to express my heart. I also imagine that she wanted to say it "right" and didn't want to hurt him or didn't want to just say it outloud for fear that she would cave, cry or beg. I agree -- time to reflect but also time to decide to negotiate about the cats if need be and to stop communicating with her family and move on. If he needs to move to a new apartment at the end of the lease, so be it.

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